Infrastructure Australia today released its fourth review of national infrastructure priorities and performance, highlighting the vital role of infrastructure in contributing to our national productivity and quality of life.
The report to the Council of Australian Governments, Progress and Action, includes Infrastructure Australia's annual infrastructure priority list. In releasing the report, Chairman Sir Rod Eddington AO called on governments, industry and the community to look long and hard at our future infrastructure needs and the sort of cities and regions we want to live in.
“Our communities deserve appropriate, well-functioning infrastructure and we need to examine ways to provide these assets at least cost to the community. The results of not doing enough are traffic congestion, poor access to our export gateways, missed economic opportunities and lower quality of life,” said Sir Rod.
“We need to continue to identify and assess infrastructure projects and reforms that provide the greatest public benefits. A focus on stronger strategic planning, improved project prioritisation, reforms to remove red tape and ongoing efforts to get more from our existing infrastructure assets need our collective attention,” said Sir Rod.
The report recommends some major reforms in the infrastructure sector. These include:
- the agreement to establish single national laws and single regulators for heavy vehicle, rail and maritime safety; and
- the decision to involve the private sector more in infrastructure debates, including on the peak Ministerial committee on transport and infrastructure.
“This is a great start. But governments, industry and the community must row together to ensure that agreements in principle are translated in to real change,” said Sir Rod.
Sir Rod noted, “In just three years, all of the ready to proceed projects identified in Infrastructure Australia's first priority list received funding from the Commonwealth, state and territory governments.”
“This is an important testament to the regard for Infrastructure Australia's work across all governments. We remain committed to working with governments, industry and the community.”
Brisbane's Cross River Rail project, first submitted by the Queensland Government to Infrastructure Australia in 2008, has been identified as a new ready to proceed project. It aims to meet increased transport demand associated with south east Queensland's rapidly growing population.
Sir Rod concluded, “In an effort to maintain the transparency of our operations, the report, all public submissions and our assessment of projects rated as threshold or ready to proceed on the priority list are available at Infrastructure Australia's website www.infrastructureaustralia.gov.au.
Media Contact: Stephen Alchin, 0408 668 614 or 02 8114 1903